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Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

2017 July 18
by Emily Hill

This slow cooker mac and cheese will please the pickiest eaters thanks to a combo of sharp cheddar and Colby Jack cheese plus a few surprise ingredients.

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Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese -- This slow cooker mac and cheese will please the pickiest eaters thanks to a combo of sharp cheddar and Colby Jack cheese plus a few surprise ingredients. | isthisreallymylife.com

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I’ve made a half dozen or so homemade mac and cheese recipes but only one or two have been in the slow cooker. This was the very first slow cooker mac and cheese recipe I tried and it’s still a keeper.

I adapted this recipe from Taste of Home’s Easy Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese by using sharp cheddar and switching out the provolone and fontina for Colby Jack. I also underestimated the servings and doubled it, which I don’t recommend unless you’re feeding a small army.

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Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese -- This slow cooker mac and cheese will please the pickiest eaters thanks to a combo of sharp cheddar and Colby Jack cheese plus a few surprise ingredients. | isthisreallymylife.com

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I totally need to make this again and take it to our next family potluck. Or maybe I’ll whip up a batch of this absolutely divine but not so budget-friendly gourmet mac and cheese.

I posted it in 2012 so don’t judge the recipe by the photos…

Printable recipe for slow cooker mac and cheese below. Enjoy!
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Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This slow cooker mac and cheese will please the pickiest eaters thanks to a combo of sharp cheddar and Colby Jack cheese plus a few surprise ingredients.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Pasta
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 box uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup butter, cubed
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded Colby Jack
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, cook macaroni al dente according to package directions. Drain (do not rinse) and set aside.
  2. While pasta cooks, combine soup, milk, sour cream, butter and seasonings in a medium saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until blended. Add cheese and stir until completely melted.
  3. Drain macaroni; transfer to a greased 3-qt. slow cooker. Stir in cheese mixture. Cook, covered, on low 1-2 hours or until heated through.

 
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Pressure Cooker Cafe Rio Pork Tacos -- I took our favorite slow cooker Cafe Rio pork and converted it into an equally scrumptious pressure cooker Cafe Rio pork. Do not forget the creamy cilantro dressing! | isthisreallymylife.com


Pressure cooker Cafe Rio sweet pork tacos

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French Dip Sliders - so easy to make using a slow cooker and Hawaiian rolls. So fun to eat thanks to the smaller size!


Slow cooker French dip sliders

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Slow cooker mango chicken


Slow cooker mango chicken

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Crock pot chicken tacos


Crock pot chicken tacos

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Chicken taco soup


Slow cooker chicken taco soup

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If you’re looking for more yummy recipes, you should browse my “best of” Pinterest board.

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Don’t forget to sign up for free Is This Really My Life updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Blueberry Zucchini Bread

2017 July 12
by Emily Hill

Baking a batch of blueberry zucchini bread is one of the best ways to use all that fresh garden zucchini and sweet, summer-ripened blueberries.

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Blueberry Zucchini Bread -- Baking a batch of blueberry zucchini bread is one of the best ways to use all that fresh garden zucchini and sweet, summer-ripened blueberries. | isthisreallymylife.com


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Post may include affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and purchase something, you won’t pay anything extra but it will help support this blog.

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I would be lying if I said blueberry zucchini bread was my favorite way to use all that homegrown zucchini because if I had a choice, it would be frosted zucchini brownies every time. But since I’m not very good at eating my fruits and vegetables, blueberry zucchini bread is a tasty Plan B.

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Blueberry Zucchini Bread -- Baking a batch of blueberry zucchini bread is one of the best ways to use all that fresh garden zucchini and sweet, summer-ripened blueberries. | isthisreallymylife.com

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I’m pretty sure a slice of blueberry zucchini bread isn’t a full serving of fruits and/or vegetables, so I like to have at least two. And the fact I like to substitute applesauce for half the oil—and Splenda for half the sugar if I’m feeling extra healthy—makes me feel even less guilty about indulging in this delicious quick bread.

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Blueberry Zucchini Bread -- Baking a batch of blueberry zucchini bread is one of the best ways to use all that fresh garden zucchini and sweet, summer-ripened blueberries. | isthisreallymylife.com

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The recipe calls for baking the bread in four mini loaf pans (this mini loaf pan is a great choice if you don’t own one), and it’s true, mini loaves are the perfect gifting size. But sometimes you have to bake them in two full-size pans because the only gifting you’re doing is gifting this bread right into your mouth.

Note: A large cookie scoop is awesome for dispersing batter evenly among loaf pans.

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Blueberry Zucchini Bread -- Baking a batch of blueberry zucchini bread is one of the best ways to use all that fresh garden zucchini and sweet, summer-ripened blueberries. | isthisreallymylife.com

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Printable recipe for blueberry zucchini bread below. Enjoy!
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4.0 from 1 reviews
Blueberry Zucchini Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Baking a batch of blueberry zucchini bread is one of the best ways to use all that fresh garden zucchini and sweet, summer-ripened blueberries. Makes 4 mini loaves or 2 regular loaves.
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour 4 mini loaf pans or 2 regular loaf pans.
  2. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl. Fold in zucchini.
  3. Add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon; mix until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in blueberries.
  4. Spread batter evenly into loaf pans. Bake 50 minutes for mini loaves or 1 hour 20 minutes for regular loaves or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool 20 minutes in pans before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Notes
For a healthier bread, try substituting ½ cup of the oil with a ½ cup unsweetened applesauce and/or 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of Splenda.

 
Blueberry Zucchini Bread -- Baking a batch of blueberry zucchini bread is one of the best ways to use all that fresh garden zucchini and sweet, summer-ripened blueberries. | isthisreallymylife.com

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Peach Crisp Monkey Bread Muffins -- These peach crisp monkey bread muffins combine fresh, diced peaches, a delicious crumble topping and cinnamon roll dough for an easy, scrumptious treat! | isthisreallymylife.com


Peach crisp monkey bread muffins

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Sour Cream Banana Bread -- the sour cream makes this the most divine banana bread you will ever bake. Freezes well and perfect for gift giving...and eating.


Sour cream banana bread

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Easy Apple Pull-Apart Bread -- great way to use leftover apple slices from your pies and crostatas!


Easy apple pull-apart bread with vanilla glaze

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If you’re looking for more yummy recipes, you should browse my “best of” Pinterest board.

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Feel free to “like” Is This Really My Life on Facebook. It won’t earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free Is This Really My Life updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Corned Beef & Cheddar Burgers

2017 July 4
by Emily Hill

Corned beef and cheddar burgers combine ground beef with corned beef and sharp white cheddar cheese for one of the tastiest burgers you’ll ever grill!

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Irish Corned Beef and Cheddar Burgers - Corned beef and cheddar burgers combine ground beef with corned beef and sharp white cheddar cheese for one of the tastiest burgers you will ever grill! | isthisreallymylife.com


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Post may include affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and purchase something, you won’t pay anything extra but it will help support this blog.

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I first made these corned beef and cheddar burgers for St. Patrick’s Day. Usually I’m all about making traditional Irish dishes like Irish stew with a side of soda bread. But this year I was all about what sounded good, came together easily, wouldn’t heat up my kitchen and fed a lot of people. These Irish-inspired burgers were the answer.

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Irish Corned Beef and Cheddar Burgers - Corned beef and cheddar burgers combine ground beef with corned beef and sharp white cheddar cheese for one of the tastiest burgers you will ever grill! | isthisreallymylife.com

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The burgers were such a hit, I knew I had to make them again and share the recipe with you. There’s something about the combination of ground beef (lean, of course), corned beef and sharp white cheddar that makes these burgers extra tender and flavorful. Topping them with pickled red cabbage, arugula and spicy mustard hits ’em way out of the burger ballpark!

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Irish Corned Beef and Cheddar Burgers - Corned beef and cheddar burgers combine ground beef with corned beef and sharp white cheddar cheese for one of the tastiest burgers you will ever grill! | isthisreallymylife.com

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When I made these Irish burgers the first time, I shaped them by hand hoping they were about 1/3 pound each. The second time I tripled the recipe (it was a big party), so I used a kitchen scale and a burger press, which made the process much easier. I highly recommend stocking your kitchen with both!

Printable recipe for corned beef and cheddar burgers below. Enjoy!
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Corned Beef & Cheddar Burgers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Corned beef and cheddar burgers combine ground beef with corned beef and sharp white cheddar cheese for one of the tastiest burgers you'll ever grill!
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Pickled red cabbage
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 1 small head red cabbage, shredded
Burger
  • 1 lb ground beef (at least 90% lean)
  • 4 slices corned beef, diced
  • 4 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
  • Spicy mustard
  • Arugula
Instructions
Pickled red cabbage
  1. Combine vinegar, sugar, salt and cabbage in a medium bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
Burger
  1. Combine ground beef, corned beef and cheese in a large bowl. Shape into 4 patties; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill burgers over medium heat until cooked to preferred doneness.
  3. Serve on toasted hamburger buns topped with spicy mustard, pickled red cabbage and arugula. Refrigerate leftovers.

 

Here are a few salads you could totally enjoy with your Irish burgers!

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Best Ever Macaroni Salad -- Who knew macaroni salad could be incredibly easy AND incredibly delicious? This macaroni salad is just that with the perfect blend of veggies and creamy dressing. | isthisreallymylife.com


Best-ever macaroni salad

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Creamy Bacon Broccoli Salad -- This creamy bacon broccoli salad is one of the best broccoli salads I've tasted. It features bacon, grapes, sunflower seeds and a creamy low-fat dressing. | isthisreallymylife.com


Creamy bacon broccoli salad

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Corn salad with tomato, basil and feta -- the perfect way to highlight farm fresh corn in the summer!


Corn salad with tomato, basil & feta

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Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad


Pepperoni pizza pasta salad

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Homestyle macaroni salad


Homestyle macaroni salad

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Pistachio Pudding Salad -- My mom is famous for this pistachio pudding salad, and while it is more dessert than salad, it's still the perfect summer side dish! | isthisreallymylife.com


Pistachio pudding salad (my mom’s specialty)

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If you’re looking for more yummy recipes, you should browse my “best of” Pinterest board.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” Is This Really My Life on Facebook. It won’t earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free Is This Really My Life updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Krispie Treat Fireworks Pops

2017 June 27
by Emily Hill

Krispie treat fireworks pops are a fantastic last-minute 4th of July dessert—they’re easy, irresistible and a total crowd pleaser!

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Krispie Treat Fireworks Pops -- Krispie treat fireworks pops are a fantastic last-minute 4th of July dessert—they're easy, irresistible and a total crowd pleaser! | isthisreallymyilfe.com


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Post may include affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and purchase something, you won’t pay anything extra but it will help support this blog.

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I’ve posted my fair share of rice krispie treats but these krispie treat fireworks pops might be the most festive and the most fun.

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Krispie Treat Fireworks Pops -- Krispie treat fireworks pops are a fantastic last-minute 4th of July dessert—they're easy, irresistible and a total crowd pleaser! | isthisreallymyilfe.com

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Though these are specific to the 4th of July (and 24th of July in Utah—a.k.a. Pioneer Day), you could take the same concept and use them for just about any holiday by changing up the sprinkles, dipping chocolate and/or cereal.

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Krispie Treat Fireworks Pops -- Krispie treat fireworks pops are a fantastic last-minute 4th of July dessert—they're easy, irresistible and a total crowd pleaser! | isthisreallymyilfe.com

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If you can’t find the limited-edition Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal (I found mine at Target), you could always by Fruity Pebbles and pick out the red and blue “pebbles.”

Or pay one of your kids to do it.

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Krispie Treat Fireworks Pops -- Krispie treat fireworks pops are a fantastic last-minute 4th of July dessert—they're easy, irresistible and a total crowd pleaser! | isthisreallymyilfe.com

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I learned you need to make your krispie treats as dense as possible or they’ll start to bend and eventually half will fall off the stick. Not that we’re complaining; someone has to eat the ones that don’t look as cute. We found 6-inch lollipop sticks to be the perfect size.

If you make two pans like I did, drizzle the second pan with the leftover vanilla almond bark and serve them that way. Adds a bit of variety to your dessert table…and an excuse to eat at least one of each!

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Krispie Treat Fireworks Pops -- Krispie treat fireworks pops are a fantastic last-minute 4th of July dessert—they're easy, irresistible and a total crowd pleaser! | isthisreallymyilfe.com

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My kids and their friends seriously loved these krispie treat fireworks pops. I loved ’em too, which is why I had to give some away to the neighbors. It’s the only way to keep myself from eating all the treats. All the time.

Printable recipe for krispie treat fireworks pops below. Enjoy!
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Krispie Treat Fireworks Pops
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Krispie treat fireworks pops are a fantastic last-minute 4th of July dessert—they're easy, irresistible and a total crowd pleaser! Makes approx. 24 pops.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 3 T salted butter
  • 1 (10-oz) package mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups Kellogg's limited edition Rice Krispies with red & blue krispies
  • 1 (24-oz) package vanilla almond bark
  • Multicolored sugar sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.
  3. Add marshmallows and stir frequently until completely melted. Remove from heat and fold in Kellogg's Rice Krispies.
  4. Transfer contents to baking dish. Use waxed paper (or your fingers) lightly greased with cooking spray or butter to gently press mixture in pan until evenly distributed. Cut into 2-inch squares once cooled and set.
  5. Melt almond bark according to package directions. Dip one end of the lollipop stick in melted chocolate and gently press into one end of the krispie treats. Lay on waxed or parchment paper to set.
  6. Dip the opposite end of the krispie treat in melted almond bark and cover with sprinkles. Lay on waxed or parchment paper until ready to serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

 
Smores Rice Krispie Treats -- Classic rice krispie treats are topped with marshmallows, crushed Golden Grahams and a drizzle of semisweet chocolate.


S’mores rice krispie treats

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Scotcharoos Cheerios Bars -- Scotcharoos Cheerios bars are an easier, healthier alternative to classic scotcharoos. I guarantee your taste buds will be pleasantly surprised! | isthisreallymylife.com


Scotcharoos Cheerios bars

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Reeses Puffs Cereal Bars -- Fans of Reeses Puffs cereal will love the chocolaty, peanut buttery, marshmallowy goodness found in these Reeses Puffs cereal bars! | isthisreallymylife.com


Reese’s Puffs cereal bars

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Red Velvet Rice Krispie Treats - slight cocoa flavor with a drizzle of white chocolate. Perfect dessert for Valentines Day (or Christmas)!


Red velvet rice krispie treats

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Lucky Charms Treats -- quick and easy and delightfully delicious!


Lucky Charms treats

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Looking for more yummy recipes? Try browsing my best of Is This Really My Life Pinterest board. I guarantee you’ll find quite a few!

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ps post script

Like Is This Really My Life on Facebook for more yummy recipes.

Sign up for free Is This Really My Life updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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PB&J Protein Balls

2017 June 20
by Emily Hill

PB&J protein balls are perfect for PB&J lovers looking for a healthy, protein-packed snack thanks to creamy peanut butter and diced dried strawberries.

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Easy PB&J Protein Balls -- PB&J protein balls are perfect for PB&J lovers looking for a healthy, protein-packed snack thanks to creamy peanut butter and diced dried strawberries. | isthisreallymylife.com

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Protein balls (a.k.a. protein bites) are one of my most favorite healthy snacks. They’re simple to make, super easy to eat on the go and a great way to get in a solid serving of protein. They’re also absolutely delicious…or at least the protein bites I make because I’m all about healthy snacks tasting good.

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Easy PB&J Protein Balls -- PB&J protein balls are perfect for PB&J lovers looking for a healthy, protein-packed snack thanks to creamy peanut butter and diced dried strawberries. | isthisreallymylife.com

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In past recipes for protein balls, I’ve paired peanut butter with chocolate, peanut butter with coconut and peanut butter with cherries (and sometimes peanut butter with all of the above!). But I’m a sucker for a classic PB&J sandwich and knew there had to be a way to translate that flavor into a protein ball recipe.

I was so totally right.

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Easy PB&J Protein Balls -- PB&J protein balls are perfect for PB&J lovers looking for a healthy, protein-packed snack thanks to creamy peanut butter and diced dried strawberries. | isthisreallymylife.com

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One of the secrets to these PB&J protein balls is combining natural, creamy peanut butter with unsweetened coconut, rolled oats and honey (a great natural sweetener) and then throwing in a healthy serving of finely diced dried strawberries. I had no idea I could buy dried strawberries but my life has forever changed since I discovered them.

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Easy PB&J Protein Balls -- PB&J protein balls are perfect for PB&J lovers looking for a healthy, protein-packed snack thanks to creamy peanut butter and diced dried strawberries. | isthisreallymylife.com

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The other secret is using one of Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Boosters. The company’s new plant-based protein powders are made using clean ingredients and are an excellent source of protein (20g per serving), omega-3s (240 mg per serving) and fiber. They’re also gluten free, vegan and sweetened with Monk fruit. (Monk fruit is a sweet fruit with origins in Asia; it’s used as a healthy, natural way to sweeten without the added calories of sugar.)

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Bobs Red Mill Nutritional Boosters.

And guess what? Every protein powder in the line of Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Boosters features chia seeds and probiotics.

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Bobs Red Mill Nutritional Boosters.

Those protein powders have a lot going for them, which is why I knew the Vanilla Protein Powder Nutritional Booster would be perfect for these PB&J protein balls.

I basically love all things Bob’s Red Mill. No lie.

Making these protein balls is super simple. First, you combine the peanut butter, honey and vanilla in a large bowl.

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Easy PB&J Protein Balls -- PB&J protein balls are perfect for PB&J lovers looking for a healthy, protein-packed snack thanks to creamy peanut butter and diced dried strawberries. | isthisreallymylife.com.

Second, you add the protein powder, coconut, ground flaxseed, oats, chia seeds and diced dried strawberries.

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Easy PB&J Protein Balls -- PB&J protein balls are perfect for PB&J lovers looking for a healthy, protein-packed snack thanks to creamy peanut butter and diced dried strawberries. | isthisreallymylife.com.

Then you use a spoon or medium cookie dough scoop to form into balls.

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Easy PB&J Protein Balls -- PB&J protein balls are perfect for PB&J lovers looking for a healthy, protein-packed snack thanks to creamy peanut butter and diced dried strawberries. | isthisreallymylife.com.

Place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and you’re ready for healthy snacking on the go! We have a lot of swim meets this summer and you better believe this will be in our cooler alongside carrots, yogurt, string cheese, grapes and goldfish crackers!

Don’t wait to make these PB&J protein balls—they’re at the top of my list! Make sure you use this Bob’s Red Mill coupon to save $3 on any Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Booster!

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Easy PB&J Protein Balls -- PB&J protein balls are perfect for PB&J lovers looking for a healthy, protein-packed snack thanks to creamy peanut butter and diced dried strawberries. | isthisreallymylife.com

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Printable recipe for PB&J protein balls below. Enjoy!
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PB&J Protein Balls
 
Prep time
Total time
 
PB&J protein balls are perfect for PB&J lovers looking for a healthy, protein-packed snack thanks to creamy peanut butter and diced dried strawberries. Makes approx. 12 protein balls or protein bites.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Healthy
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • ½ cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ⅓ cup Bob's Red Mill Vanilla Protein Powder Nutritional Booster (or your favorite vanilla protein powder)
  • ⅓ cup ground flaxseed meal (I like Bob's Red Mill)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (also Bob's Red Mill)
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • ½ cup finely diced dried strawberries
Instructions
  1. Mix together peanut butter, honey and vanilla in a large bowl.
  2. Add protein powder, coconut, flaxseed, oats, chia seeds and strawberries. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Form into 12 balls using a medium scoop or large spoon. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.
Notes
Because not all peanut butters and protein powders are created equally, you may need to add more peanut butter or honey to help the mixture stick together.

 
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Crunchy Peanut Butter Protein Bites -- These crunchy peanut butter protein bites are some of the easiest and tastiest protein bites (aka protein balls) I have ever made! | isthisreallymylife.com


Crunchy peanut butter protein bites

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No-bake peanut butter oatmeal protein bites 1 -- THE BEST recipe for energy bites I have ever tasted!


Peanut butter oatmeal protein bites

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Cherry chocolate chip protein bites


Cherry chocolate chip protein bites

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Protein energy bites


Protein energy bites

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Energy Bites or Protein Bites Two Ways: Cherry or Chocolate Chip


Energy bites two ways (cherry & chocolate chip)

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER; the content and opinions expressed are my own.
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Looking for more yummy recipes? Try browsing my best of Is This Really My Life Pinterest board. I guarantee you’ll find quite a few!

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ps post script

Like Is This Really My Life on Facebook for more yummy recipes.

Sign up for free Is This Really My Life updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Mini Fruit Pizzas Recipe

2017 June 13
by Emily Hill

Mini fruit pizzas are a fun and festive dessert for the 4th of July or any celebration! Top ’em with berries, diced kiwi…even mandarin oranges!

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Mini Fruit Pizzas -- Mini fruit pizzas are a fun and festive dessert for the 4th of July or any celebration! Top them with berries, diced kiwi...even mandarin oranges! | isthisreallymylife.com


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Post may include affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and purchase something, you won’t pay anything extra but it will help support this blog.

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The first time I made mini fruit pizzas it was for my sister’s baby shower four years ago. I have no idea why we haven’t made them since because they are so much fun for guests and make for a really pretty dessert.

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Mini Fruit Pizzas -- Mini fruit pizzas are a fun and festive dessert for the 4th of July or any celebration! Top them with berries, diced kiwi...even mandarin oranges! | isthisreallymylife.com

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Those large fruit pizzas kind of intimidate me, so I’m a fan of this mini-me version. Plus the sugar cookie recipe is one of my favorites, and that cream cheese frosting I could totally eat with a spoon.

Speaking of spoons, for uniformly-shaped cookies, make sure to use a medium cookie scoop. It makes the perfect size sugar cookies for mini fruit pizzas.

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Mini Fruit Pizzas -- Mini fruit pizzas are a fun and festive dessert for the 4th of July or any celebration! Top them with berries, diced kiwi...even mandarin oranges! | isthisreallymylife.com

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My favorite way to eat this is topped with diced strawberries, but we couldn’t resist making them a bit more festive for the 4th of July holiday by throwing in some blueberries. You can tell we had a lot of fun coming up with different ways to decorate the mini fruit pizzas.

The strawberry heart is my most favorite.

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Mini Fruit Pizzas -- Mini fruit pizzas are a fun and festive dessert for the 4th of July or any celebration! Top them with berries, diced kiwi...even mandarin oranges! | isthisreallymylife.com

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Of course you don’t have to stick with the red, white and blue theme. You can elevate them to an even classier dessert by topping them with a combination of blackberries, diced kiwi, diced strawberry and a mandarin orange slice. Or let your guests do the decorating by providing a mini fruit pizza bar!

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Mini Fruit Pizzas -- Mini fruit pizzas are a fun and festive dessert for the 4th of July or any celebration! Top them with berries, diced kiwi...even mandarin oranges! | isthisreallymylife.com

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Printable recipe for mini fruit pizzas below. Enjoy!
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Mini Fruit Pizzas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Mini fruit pizzas are a fun and festive dessert for the 4th of July or any celebration! Top 'em with berries, diced kiwi...even mandarin oranges! Makes approx. 4 dozen cookies.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Serves: 24
Ingredients
Sugar cookies
  • 2¾ cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Frosting
  • 2 (8-oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 to 4 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 to 2 tsp vanilla extract (to taste)
Toppings
  • Fresh fruit such as diced berries, blueberries, sliced bananas, diced peaches, diced kiwi or mandarin orange slices
Instructions
Sugar cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Roll rounded tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are set and lightly golden. Let stand on cookie sheet 2 minutes before moving to wire racks to cool completely.
Frosting
  1. Cream together cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla.
  2. Gradually add confectioner's sugar until frosting reaches desired consistency. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. Frost cooled cookies and top with fresh fruit. Serve immediately.

 
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Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies - Coconut chocolate chunk cookies are a total crowd pleaser. They're soft, chewy and the perfect dessert for backyard barbecues or poolside picnics! | isthisreallymylife.com


Coconut chocolate chunk cookies

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Chewy Peanut Butter Cup Cookies -- These chewy peanut butter cup cookies are a classic and always a hit at cookie exchanges. They're also perfect for those holiday cookie plates!


Chewy peanut butter cup cookies

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Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies -- Harry & Horsie's CookieBot would have no problem inhaling these pretzel chocolate chip cookies. They're soft, chewy and chocolaty with the right amount of crunch!


Pretzel chocolate chip cookies

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Butterbeer Sandwich Cookies -- Butterbeer sandwich cookies are the perfect dessert for Butterbeer lovers. They're combine buttery butterscotch & toffee cookies with a rich, creamy butterscotch frosting and are simply magical.


Butterbeer sandwich cookies

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Healthy Orange Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies -- whole wheat flour, unsweetened coconut, orange zest and semisweet chocolate. A dense, chewy cookie packed with flavor!


Post may include affiliate links to help support my Diet Coke habit.
Healthy orange oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

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Salted caramel toffee Rolo cookies


Salted caramel toffee Rolo cookies

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If you’re looking for more yummy recipes, you should browse my “best of” Pinterest board.

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ps post script

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Don’t forget to sign up for free Is This Really My Life updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover: It’s All About Ambiance

2017 June 7
by Emily Hill

Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com


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Disclosure: This is a compensated post for Jasco. The content and opinions expressed are my own.

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Longtime readers of this blog know about the only things I regularly DIY are recipes. I’ve created the occasional printable (these gift tags are my favorite) and even refashioned a unisex concert t-shirt, but those projects are few and far between.

I’ve been dying for a master bedroom makeover. Unfortunately, all the bedroom makeovers I’ve seen are way out of my league. They involve far too much spray paint, pillow coordinating and power tools. I’m a simple gal who wanted a simple master bedroom makeover, so I ignored the Pinterest pins and went with the right amount of DIYing:

  • Organizing (closet, dresser and corner-of-the-room dejunking)
  • Spray painting (cutlery tray transformed into “Nathan’s random crap from atop the dresser” tray)
  • Shopping (two lamps, one throw pillow, one succulent planter, one set of bookends and one Klimt on canvas)
  • Creative thinking (outdoor Edison-style cafe lights brought indoors for some serious ambiance)

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And by serious ambiance I mean romantic, mini-oasis-from-life, why-didn’t-we-do-this-sooner ambiance.

For reals.

We took Enbrighten Color Changing Café Lights—the type of lights you’d typically use only outdoors—and attached them to our canopy bed. I’m not lying when I tell you it’s the best part of the master bedroom makeover.

Now it’s time for the before and after photos. I always try to be completely honest (you can check my Instagram stories if you don’t believe me), so the before photos are truly what it looked like, messes and all. You’ll also see that the after photos aren’t that much different aside from the “DIYing” listed above. But what a different those simple changes—and those Enbrighten Color Changing Café Lights—made!

BEFORE

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

I bought that lamp from World Market over a decade ago.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

We’ve had this canopy bed for nearly 17 years. I love it.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

I have way too many treasures on here.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

Nathan thinks the couch is a second dresser.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

The top of his dresser causes me anxiety…

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

…as does this little corner.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

The guy’s nightstand needs a little TLC.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com
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AFTER

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

I love how decluttered everything looks and those lamps are to die for!

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

We are book lovers so we placed books all over the room.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

Gotta have a succulent! I found this one at my local grocery store.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

I found our favorite Klimt on canvas. Swoon.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

More books! And fresh flowers from our rose bushes. Don’t forget the chocolate!

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

I spray painted that bamboo cutlery box (color: Rust-Oleum Lagoon). It’s the perfect organizer. And more books!

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

I couldn’t resist this new throw pillow. It’s an outdoor one but it works perfectly!

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

No more shoes! They found a home in the closet. You’re welcome, babe.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

Another shot of my new favorite lamps. *sigh*

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Nathan and I love how uncluttered our bedroom feels even though we probably have more decor than we previously had. Or maybe we just have more books, which is way okay with me. I called this makeover a simple master bedroom makeover because it was accomplished in one afternoon and although it wasn’t one of those “under $10” makeovers, it was still super budget friendly.

But let’s be honest; the best part about the bedroom makeover are the cafe lights. Enbrighten Color Changing Café Lights by Jasco are Edison-style lights that combine the functionality and durability of Jasco’s standard LED lights with a vintage feel and the coolest—THE COOLEST—color modes.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

These lights are my favorite part of the makeover.

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Enbrighten Color Changing Café Lights

Nathan used tiny screws to attach them.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

Check out the “come hither” vibe they give off.

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Enbrighten Color Changing Café Lights

This remote is the bees knees. Nathan can hardly put it down.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

Check out the multi-color function!

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover -- Edison-style cafe lights are the secret to creating the perfect (romantic) ambiance in this simple master bedroom makeover. | isthisreallymylife.com

Lovely.

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Enbrighten Color Changing Café Lights

I had to snag one artistic shot.


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Check out all the cool features you get with Enbrighten Color Changing Café Lights:

  • Remote control — color-changing capability with the press of a button
  • Built-in timer — your grownup night light
  • Linkable up to 750 feet — perfect for home theaters and rec rooms
  • Flexible mounting options — in case you don’t have a cool canopy like ours
  • Multiple color options — sports team colors, anyone?
  • Dimmable — perfect for setting the mood
  • Lifetime LED bulbs — unlike your typical outdoor colored lights
  • Impact resistant — an important feature if they’re in a rec room…or bedroom

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Imagine all the different ways you could use these babies: backyard parties, wedding reception (indoor and outdoor), home theater, bedroom, walkway, outdoor chandelier, indoor fort…the possibilities are endless!

For more ideas, check out this DIY Spaces Pinterest board.

By the way, one of the things I didn’t dejunk was the handcrafted sign on our master bedroom door. Because, hello, it’s going to be worth millions when Livi grows up.

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Simple Master Bedroom Makeover
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And now I need to head upstairs. My “new” bedroom and all those books (and chocolate) are calling me…

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If you’re looking for more yummy recipes, you should browse my “best of” Pinterest board.

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ps post script

Feel free to “like” Is This Really My Life on Facebook. It won’t earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free Is This Really My Life updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
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